Danny Boyle makes a return to the epically-intimate rough-and-tumble style that marked his pre-Slumdog Millionaire (and, thus, pre-Oscar) days with 127 Hours, a markedly different award-worthy take on the astonishing true story of Aron Ralston (James Franco, in a heroically entertaining performance), an aspiring guide and amateur rock-climber who went to the middle of nowhere in Utah one day and fell deep into a cavern only to get his arm caught between – literally – a rock and a hard place. Going days without rescue, Ralston used cleverness, resourcefulness and, in a triumph of the human will to survive, cut through his own arm to free himself! Against all odds, Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty) have crafted an often beautiful, surprisingly funny (albeit, gallows-humored) tale, aided and abetted by glorious A.R. Rahman music (as well as the great use of “Never Hear Surf Music Again” by Free Blood over the opening credits; you heard it most likely during the memorable teaser trailer) and wondrous cinematography by the hyperkinetic Enrique Chediak and frequent Boyle lensman Anthony Dod Mantle (put the camera INSIDE a waterbottle as it’s being sipped? Sure, why not!?!). All of this combines for one of the most purely entertaining tales of human perseverance in recent memory.